• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

6 Surprising Ways To Get More From Your Web Browser


Everybody uses the internet, but are you using the best web browser for you? Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google do a good web job of pushing their web browsers on you, but without them, you couldn't take advantage of all of the wonderful things that are available to you on the Internet. Doesn't matter if your gadget of choice is a smartphone, tablet, or a computer, without your browser, the Internet would look like a series of numbers and letters, and looking for items would be confusing. I commonly come across people who are surprised when I show them great tricks to use with the favorite browser, so I have to ask: 'Are you using your web browser to the best of its abilities?' If your answer is 'No', here are some ways you could be using your browser better.


1. Use a supported and up to date browser. Using an outdated, and an unsupported web browser can ruin your Internet experience. If you're using Internet Explorer as your web browser, you need to stop right now. The same thing goes if you're using Safari built-in with the macOS versions, of Mavericks and Yosemite, as well as the browsers included with old versions of iOS and AndroidOS. Web sites won't respond well when you try to view them in older browsers, so always make sure you're using the latest and greatest version of your web browser on your devices.


2. Pick the right browser for you. It's hard to choose a web browser with so many on the market. you can choose from Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Oprah, and Safari. Even though Safari is only available on Apple devices and Edge is only available on Windows devices, you can use whatever browser works best for you. In my opinion, no browser works better than the other and they all have the same features.


3. Use your browser password and credit card manager. In this age of cybercrime, I highly recommend everyone use a password manager. Every browser has a password manager built-in, as well as a credit card manager. Use them to prevent using those tired old passwords that cybercriminals are able to figure out. The password manager in browsers such as Chrome will compare the passwords you are currently using for your online accounts to those on the dark web or other public websites. If your passwords are showing up on the web, the browser manager will give you a notification, prompting you to change your passwords. There are many of you out there who are cautious about storing your passwords let alone your credit card information in your browser, and I don't blame you. Almost all of the browsers keep your data safe, provided you password protect the password keeper and your device. If you aren't comfortable saving your browser information, you can use a password manager such as LastPass (www.lastpass.com), or Dashlane (dashlane.com)


4. Make your favorite browser your default browser. Your devices will always choose the default browser making it a pain sometimes to use your favorite browser. If you've decided to use another browser, you need to change your default. On Windows, go to Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps -> Web browser. On macOS, open System Preferences -> General -> Default web browser. For Android, head to Settings -> Apps & Notifications -> Advanced -> Default apps -> Browser app. iOS 14 now has this capability also, but it’s a little buried. Launch the Settings app, and scroll down to the browser you like. Inside will be a Default Browser App option.


5. Check out browser extensions. Extensions are available for every browser out there. They are mini-programs that integrate into your web browser, adding in different features to use while you are surfing the web. Some of my favorite extensions are Grammarly (www.grammarly.com), the Pinterest Save Button (www.pinterest.com), and the Linkedin Extension (www.linkedin.com). Just like there are useful programs and extensions on the Internet, there are malicious ones as well that can sneak into your browser. Every now and then, take a look at your extensions and disable any extensions you aren't familiar with. Here's how you can do it.


Chrome

Navigate to the Chrome menu in the upper right corner.

In the menu, click More Tools, and then Extensions.

The Extensions tab opens. To disable an extension, click the blue toggle switch Chrome toggle off so it turns gray Chrome toggle off.

To remove an extension, click the Remove button.


Firefox

In the upper-right corner of the window, click the Open Menu Firefox menu icon. icon.

In the menu, click the Add-ons icon in Firefox. Add-ons.

On the left side of the Add-on Manager tab, click Extensions.

On the right, under Manage Your Extensions, locate the extension you want to disable or remove.

To disable an extension, click the blue toggle switch Firefox toggle off so it turns gray Firefox toggle off.

Disable Firefox extension


Microsoft Edge

Select More Edge more icon from the upper-right corner of the screen.

In the menu, click Extensions.

Edge legacy extensions menu


To disable an extension, click the blue toggle switch Edge toggle on so it turns gray Edge toggle off.

Edge disable extensions


If you want to remove an extension, hover your mouse pointer over the extension, then click the gear icon Edge gray gear in the upper-right corner.

Edge extensions gear


To remove the extension, click Uninstall.

Edge uninstall extension


Safari

To disable or remove an extension in Safari for macOS, follow these steps.


In the menu bar, click the Safari selector, and choose Preferences...

Safari preferences


In the Preferences window, click Extensions.

On the left, uncheck any boxes next to the extensions you want to disable.

To remove the extension, click the extension name on the left, then click the Uninstall button.

Safari extensions


Opera

Click the Menu button in Opera which is the Opera icon in the upper-left corner.

Select Extensions, then Extensions again.

To disable an extension, click the Disable button


6. Remember these quick fixes for your browser. Browsers are probably one of the lowest maintenance things on your devices, with that said, you should always make sure your browser is up to date. It always helps that if your browser is running slow that you need to reduce the number of browser tabs that are open. If you are unable to visit a web site, visit another web site as the web site you are visiting may be down. Finally, like all technology, if your browser isn't working, simply shut it down and your device and restart it again.


Hopefully, these tips will help you get more from the browser on your computer, smartphone, and tablet. Take your time when choosing a browser and make sure it works for you and doesn't keep you stressed out.


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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 


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